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Wanderer Paperback – January 25, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sheridan House; Reprint edition (January 25, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574090488
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574090482
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...one unforgettable voyage...under a captain whose words may echo in your mind and whose attitude may inform your spirit for the rest of your life. (The Times (UK))

An impressive writer. Like Fitzgerald, Hayden is a romantic. His writing about the sea evokes echoes of Conrad and McFee, of London and Galsworthy...Beautifully done. (Los Angeles Times)

A superb piece of writing...Echoes from Poe and Melville to Steinbeck and Mailer. A work of fascination on every level. (New York Post)

Hayden's wonderful autobiography Wanderer ...should be in every main salon aboard every boat. Hayden's life can't be emulated, but it is instructive (Ocean Navigator)

From the Publisher

Review: It's mighty nice of Sheridan House to reprint Wanderer for a new generation. Many may have missed this treasure its first time around in 1963, and its second printing in '77. The author, Hayden, was a hero to many sailors worldwide, as well as to workaday malcontents "living lives of quiet desperation." His searching autobiography reads like a novel; indeed, in today's vanilla world, with horizons shrinking for Everyman, Hayden's story seems a fantasy. Rest assured, it's not... He thumbed his nose at the movie industry, his ex-wife, and a judge's order forbidding him to take his children to sea in the ex-pilot schooner Wanderer. He sailed off to Tahiti anyway, deeply in debt, taking his children and a crew of friends. His defiance made big news. It made Hayden a public hero again, for lots of men longed to tell their bosses to shove it. Hayden did it, and it made perfect sense to a lot of us. When his book came out, we rushed to buy it. Our reward was an exceptional tale, especially for sailors.

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Customer Reviews

I also have his second novel, Voyage, another fantastic sea story.
Gary D. Schott
Just replace the word 'Wanderer' with 'Philosopher' throughout this book and you will get the idea of what the author is unconsciously trying to say.
Brian A. Glennon
This is a story of wanderlust, and love, and the raw beauty, if you will, of the world.
Carioca56

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Brian A. Glennon on September 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Just replace the word 'Wanderer' with 'Philosopher' throughout this book and you will get the idea of what the author is unconsciously trying to say. The autobiography WANDERER (c.1963, 2000) by Sterling Hayden, is a narrative written in the first and third person of a man who became enamoured with working sail at an early age, and in its pursuit, acquired a multitude of diverse life experiences few people have achieved, and/or, depending on your viewpoint, would want.
The author has compiled a litany of accomplishment simply by writing about the lifestyle he loved best. Sterling Hayden was a dory fisherman in the Grand Banks as a teenager; captained a two masted brig from Boston to Tahiti at age 22; he then became one of the youngest Master Mariners at age 24; sailed around the world twice; sailed to Tahiti several times; was the protege of the top men in his field such as: Robert O. White (Instrument Maker); Irving Johnson, Lincoln Colcord, and Ben Pine. He was also a mate on board the Gloucesterman 'Gertrude L. Thebaud' in its historic race against the big Canadian saltbanker'Bluenose'. He dined with the President of the United States; became a movie star; married a movie star; starred in two Stanley Kubrick productions; became wealthy and became broke; was an enlisted man then a Marine Corp officer; test-ran some of the first PT boats for the U.S. Navy; became an intelligence officer in the Balkans during W.W.II with the nascent O.S.S. and met with its founder 'Wild Bill' Donovan; and testified before the Senate Committee investigating un-American activities in Hollywood. Even from his best jobs Sterling Hayden would willingly descend down the social ladder as drifter, vagabond, and working sailor, because to him they were all interchangeable.
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68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Tom Bruce on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought my copy of "The Wanderer" when it was first published in 1964, because Sterling Hayden was one of my favorite actors. I especially enjoyed his work in The Asphalt Jungle, Johnny Guitar, The Killing, Suddenly, and Terror in a Texas Town, among others. Now, 40 years later I have decided to reread the book, and I forgot how good it was. The central theme of the book is Hayden's escape from Hollywood, with his young children in tow, on the schooner for which the book is named. He made this voyage to the south seas against orders of the court, who considered it too dangerous for the children. As he tells of this less than idyllic voyage, he intersperses fragments of his life, concentrating mostly on his late teens and twenties when he was a working seaman. He is very stylistic in his writing, and sometimes his switching from first to third person narrative is quite jarring, but the effect is emotionally charging. As he ages into his thirties and beyond, Sterling finds his life falling apart. He becomes a Hollywood heart throb and detests his work and lifestyle. He becomes a Communist for a few months, but never really gets with the program, and to save his hated career, he goes before the HUAC and bares his soul and names names, an action he quickly and forever regretted. He seesaws between impotency and affairs, he can't communicate with the women he loves, he struggles with no notable success with psychotherapy, he finds his life adrift with no anchor in sight. All of these travails he lays out with such frankness, I felt embarassed for him. Hayden holds nothing back as he displays his warts and finds no joy in his life, except with his children. Does he simply settle, or does he come to some kind of compromise he can live with?Read more ›
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I genuinely enjoyed this book. It is an unapologetic autobiography by a complex and sensitive person. I picked it up because I enjoyed Sterling Hayden as an actor, I put it down respecting him as a human. In my opinion, he is not telling his story because he is looking for approval or justification, he is writing the truth about himself, as he perceives it, as an exercise in self-understanding. Enough said, I will not continue to presume to speak for someone who speaks so eloquently for himself.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Despite being marketed as a maritime book, "Wanderer" is as much a description of one man's inner wanderings as it is a travelogue of Hayden's travel to Tahiti.Throughout, Hayden comes off as a resolute man of principle and insight.I have read the book three times and always glean something new from it. Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By jblyn on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is as convoluted as its author. It maintains a flow of semi-stream-of-consciousness from start to finish, and what emerges are the memoirs of a man whose love of seafaring and considerable self-deprecation ("self-loathing" is a little too strong a term) has brought him to a sea voyage to Tahiti with a pick-up crew and his four children in violation of a court order. Hayden's story is it's own animal, going from the coasts of Massachusetts and Maine, to the forests of Yugoslavia, to courtrooms and congressional chambers and movie sets and finally to the high seas and South Pacific islands with a strain of fatalism and regret throughout. It should make for a downer of a read; instead, I found myself staying up and turning the pages to see what happened next. A great book.
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